It was Cole's 15th goal of the season. He put the puck into the right side of the net on a rebound after Ed Belfour had come out to the left edge of the crease. Cole has a point in five straight games.
Ray Whitney and Justin Williams also scored for the Hurricanes, who won despite notching a season-low 15 shots in regulation.
The Panthers scored just 24 seconds into the game when Olli Jokinen's slap shot from just inside the blue-line went over John Grahame's glove. It was his team-leading 15th of the season. Jokinen has 27 points in 17 games at home, third in the NHL, with 13 goals on the home ice.
Florida went up 2-0 at 5:36 of the first period when Gary Roberts swatted the puck past a diving Grahame and into the right corner of the net.